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FIFA punish Africans for World Cup offences

After Gabon fielded suspended midfielder Merlin Tandjigora (front), they were punished with a $6,200 (5,300 euros) fine © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYS

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 3 – FIFA have punished numerous African nations for offences during 2018 World Cup qualifiers last month, the world football body said Tuesday.

Gabon forfeited by a mandatory 3-0 scoreline a match against Ivory Coast in Libreville for fielding suspended midfielder Merlin Tandjigora.

However, the Gabonese lost the match 3-0 so the punishment effectively amounted to a $6,200 (5,300 euros) fine.

Fielding ineligible players was a major problem in Africa during 2014 World Cup qualifying, but Portugal-based Tandjigora is the first culprit since.

Nigeria were fined $30,000 after spectators invaded the pitch in Uyo during a 4-0 triumph over Cameroon.

The Democratic Republic of Congo must pay FIFA $20,000 after the crowd hurled bottles and let off incendiary devices during a 2-2 draw with Tunisia in Kinshasa.

Mali were fined $15,000 because fans flung bottles and chairs on the pitch in a 0-0 stalemate with Morocco in Bamako.

The earlier qualifier between the same countries in Rabat led to a $3,000 fine for Morocco over whistling while the Malian national anthem was being played.

Zambia received a $7,000 fine after the crowd hurled various unspecified objects on the pitch during a 3-1 victory over Algeria in Lusaka.

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Senegal and Burkina Faso were warned for late kick-offs in the qualifiers between them in Dakar and Ouagadougou.

The fines are a serious blow as most African national football associations struggle financially with many relying on government bailouts for survival.

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